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At least a dozen Republican senators are regularly meeting with President Obama’s top aides in an attempt to plot a way forward on the looming fiscal challenges facing leaders this fall, senators involved in the meetings tell National Journal. [...]
“Everybody's trying to assess whether we can accomplish something that would be big,” said Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who has attended the meetings. “Big is reforming entitlements and it’s impossible to see a path where you get additional revenue without tax reform being part of it.”
This fall, the country will hit its debt limit and be unable to pay its bills unless Congress authorizes additional borrowing. Republicans plan to use the debate over raising the debt limit to force Democrats to cut spending—a negotiation Obama has said he won’t engage in. But these meetings demonstrate that the president is in fact engaging Republicans in a broader discussion about debt and spending. [...]
An administration official said White House aides have made clear to Republicans that the president’s offer from December—including $600 billion in new tax revenue for $400 billion in Medicare and other health care cuts—still stands.
The plan includes the highly unpopular chained CPI Social Security cut. And who are the Republicans working with Obama on this? They are Senators Saxby Chambliss (R. GA), Johnny Isakson (R. GA), Kelly Ayotte (R. NH), Bob Corker (R. TN), Lindsey Graham (R. SC), John Hoeven (R. ND), Richard Burr (R. NC), and John McCain (R. AZ). Now of course I urge you all to keep up the pressure on Senate Democrats as well and to apply the pressure to the White House as well: